According to Yahoo’s Shams Charania, Tristan Thompson is on the trading block. Thompson is only 14 games back from injury, so let’s take a look at a few trade options.
Thompson is having a down year by his standards, and especially by someone who makes $16M per year. At 5.3 points and 5.7 rebounds, Thompson is providing a lot of nothing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
As the Cavs only interior defensive presence, though, Thompson provides value that’s difficult to measure during the regular season where the Cavs barely try on defense. In January, Thompson is averaging 7.8 points and 8.5 rebounds, closer to his career averages. As the energy center off the bench, Thompson has value, and his January has increased his trade value immensely.
So, which teams would want someone like Thompson (and probably a pick)? Here’s the first scenario that comes to mind.
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Trade #1: Getting a Bully
Cavaliers get C, DeMarcus Cousins
C, Omer Asik
Pelicans get C, Tristan Thompson
G, Iman Shumpert
2018 Brooklyn Nets 1st Round Pick
DeMarcus Cousins could be an answer to a lot of the Cavaliers dreams. Taking back Omer Asik is not asking much-considering Cousins does everything well. Even at five turnovers a game, his 26 points, 12.5 rebounds, five assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 48/36/75 is amazing.
Asik might be okay, and he could use a change of scenery just as much as Iman Shumpert could. By no means a defensive stalwart, he still ranks 22nd in defensive win shares, and no Cleveland center comes close.
Would the Pelicans do this? Only if they start being really bad really soon. We know that they want to rid Asik’s contract, and Boogie might leave anyway, so pairing Thompson with Davis could give a limited version of what Cousins and Davis offer, or Thompson could back up Davis with energy off the bench.